BBC into Quarter-Finals as Hillhead head out

On a grimly overcast Wednesday evening, the BBC provided a ray of sunlight with a disciplined and hard fought win over Hillhead in the 2nd Round of the Greenwood Cup.

Winning the toss and electing to bat, skipper, David Holmes (0), could not have had a worse start to the evening, out LBW on the first ball. Beaten for pace, he might have had an argument that the ball took an inside edge before rattling both his pads, but the umpire didn't see it and Holmes trudged disconsolately back to the dressing room.

Peter Mellis's (1) evening didn't last much longer as, for the third time this season, he lost his wicket to a run out. In comical circumstances, Peter had backed up well from the non-striker's end only to turn back as the ball trickled through to an alert slip who arrowed the ball in to the bowler's end. The direct hit caught Peter sleepwalking his way back to his crease.

The wickets, however, didn't stop falling there. Matt Walmsley (0) was run out in the following over after an agonising wait for a call to turn back. Again, some sharp fielding by Hillhead brought a direct hit. At this stage the BBC were 12-3 and a sense of panic had pervaded their innings.

Tom Cara (2) dug in long enough to restore calm, but the encouragement came from the other end, where debutant, Julian Dismore (58*), was quietly building a score by picking off loose deliveries and dispatching them to the boundary.

His partnership of 82 with Ani Vaidya (24) was the cornerstone of the BBC innings, and with some good calling and sharp running from Gregor Dean (8*) in the closing overs, Dismore pushed the BBC to 113 and himself to a maiden half-century.

The standard of bowling was among the best faced this season and defending 113 was not going to be an easy task, but the aggression shown by Hillhead with the ball was not matched by their performance with the bat.

Despite four of their five batsmen scoring in double-figures, none showed the ability or maybe even the willingness to push on and win the match.

This owed much to the discipline of the BBC's four bowlers and to a sharp performance in the field from all concerned. The bowling quartet of Colin Moffat (1-17), Matt Walmsley (0-19), Bharat Balani (3-37) and Jack McGill (0-27), demonstrated that tight games at this level are won not by taking wickets, but by choking off the run rate.

None bowled short, none bowled wide and the result was a Hillhead batting performance that never quite took off.

Steven McGuigan took a great catch at deep long on that seemed to hang in the air for an eternity - the indignant outgoing batsman describing the ball from Bharat Balani as "a spud" - and Holmesy can be pleased with both his sharp stumpings and his captaincy as a whole, managing the field positions expertly to keep the target out of Hillhead's reach.

This was a good win for the BBC against a good side and sets up a home tie in the quarter-finals against an as yet unknown opposition.

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